Mac et al. annoyances

The last few days I am under a spell of bad luck: a near the elbow left-arm fracture, an old spine hernia that came back with a vengeance, confining me to bed the past two days, and, today, a Macbook Air that refuses make a  sound  while it won’t let me end a dialog.

Since the health of the body is less important than the health of the mind Mac, I will skip the first and focus on the second 🙂

I have a 4,5 year Mac book Air (first generation), with an 80Gb disk. I have managed to keep upgrading up to Snow Leopard and then stopped. I have decided that my next upgrade will be a new Mac book, not a new OSX for the current one.

In the short (or long, depending on the perspective) life of this machine I have experienced two serious problems, both taken care by Apple Support.

Before turning to apple support for this one too, I want to describe it here, hoping that someone might stumble on it and offer a solution that I haven’t already found (i.e.  tried, and rejected) googling for an answer.

Sound

The sound problem looks like  a hardware one. At least, this was my first impression since input and output devices ceased to show up in the Sound Settings in System Preferences.

The first search though, revealed that this is an all too common Mac problem, highly correlated to Air’s and Lions. So with an Air and no Lion I have a  50% chance of a software problem.

The known remedies to the missing sound problem, nicely summed up here, offered me no consolance. Neither the PRAM trick. So, I am afraid that it really is a hardware problem.

Image

Dialogs

The program I use most frequently (next to Chrome) is Coda, since I am doing most of my professional and personal work with it. But today it let me down too, although I don’t think it is strictly a Coda issue, as I noticed the same behavior with a couple of other programs too, namely Mail and SourceTree, but since I do not use them often I did not pay attention.

So what is this problem? Every time I attempt to open Coda I get stuck with the dialog below. I cannot close it, press a button, or make it progress. It stays there eternally.

Image

What the dialog says is true. I indeed got stuck saving a remote file, that forced to quit coda,  and since then…

My thought was that if I cleaned the local copies the dialog would disappear.

I tried to clear the cache but had problem finding it.

I deleted the Cache.db file in ~/Library/Caches/com.panic.Coda and all the entries in ~/Library/Coda/ (which look unrelated, but did it nevertheless). Then I looked at ~/Library/Application Support/Coda/Logs but the folder was empty.

In short, I did not find the cached remote files.

As a last resort, I also attempted to reinstall Coda. I got exactly the same result.

The funny thing is that if I click on a document that normally opens with Coda, the document opens nicely but then the accursed dialog kicks in.

So here I stand, or, rather, I lie, with no other solution left only than to beg you, kind reader, for one, before I make apple support richer.

Update 1: 

I managed to get rid of the annoying dialog by cleaning some cache files in /Library/Caches.  More specifically, after cleaning blindly all the cache files and folders that had a date close to yesterday, I opened Coda, saw the dialog again but this time clicking on cancel actually worked. Then, it asked me for a key, as I had reinstalled it and after putting the original purchase key, the confirmation dialog got stuck again. This time I knew where to look and it appeared that the only newly created cache file was /Library/Caches/com.apple.DiagnosticReporting.Networks.plist. I deleted it again, reopened Coda, repeated the above steps but this time, after entering the license key, the confirmation dialog worked. Of course all my setting were gone with the cache cleaning and reinstallation which is already a loss. But, at least I have Coda working.

Now, the property list file mentioned above, did not appear to have anything special inside. As a matter of fact, the one I initially deleted and the new one generated were identical. So, I cannot tell why it helped.

Update 2:

It took me sometime to make the connection: the two issues are related. In a very simple and stupid way: the dialogs get stuck as they attempt to play a sound. And since the sound system is dead, the dialog hangs up waiting. So, what I did, was disable the interface sound effects and, voila, dialogs started behaving.


Update 3 (7/12/2012)
Sigh! I was wrong. The dialogs problem is still there. And not only in Coda…

Xeni

Reviews: most popular type of blogpost?

Screenshot from the WordPress tag cloud

I was looking for new blogs to follow and I turned to wordpress Explore Topics which is nothing more than a tag cloud, obviously aggregated from all the wordpress.com blogs.

Now, the tag with the bigger size is “Reviews” which is an interesting insight. Are reviews really the top reason why people blog or is the bigger proportion of blog posts about reviews? This means that out there a treasure of data mining is awaiting to be discovered.

Who’s connected to whom in Hadoop world [infographic]

Not only this is a pretty impressive infographic. The view of the underlying companies and their ties is dizzying too.

Gigaom

To say there are a lot of companies involved in the Hadoop ecosystem would be an understatement. To say partnership strategies are broad would be one, too. The folks at Datameer created this infographic to show just how expansive and interconnected the Hadoop ecosystem is (and, admittedly, to show off the new infographic tools in the latest Datameer release). When I say that Hadoop is poised to explode because everyone company under the sun has committed to it, here’s what I mean (and this data is even a bit outdated; there would be even more connections today).

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Snap Snare by Snare Complex

This is my first wordpress reblog. It’s so tumblrish! I thought to make it a bit amusing, so I picked this tune. Enjoy.

4pocketsaudio

An addictive track from Snare Complex written on 4Pocket’s Aurora Sound Studio HD. Guitar recorded and processed in Ablton Live Lite 8.

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The Nigerian scam goes to Korea

If you love spam ‘literature’ like I do, here is  the latest of the Nigerian sequel.

Your Active E-mail made you a Beneficiary

Dear Sir/Madam,

This is to notify you that you have been chosen By the seven-member committee to fulfill Chairman Chung Mong-koo’s promise to donate One trillion won (US$1.1 billion) to charity, contingent to a suspension early this month of his three-year prison sentence for embezzlement and breach of trust. The ruling meant that the 69-year-old chairman will not be thrown back into jail as long as he remains clean during the next five years. In suspending the prison sentence, the Seoul High Court ordered Chung to fulfill the pledge of donations. Chung, want this money used for the protection of the environment and to build art and cultural facilities.

As one of the final recipients of this Cash Grant/Donation for your own personal, education and business development. The Hyundai Company is the world’s largest shipbuilder and 6th largest automaker and owns Hyundai Group, the parent company for all Hyundai Motor. The company has decided to randomly select email addresses that would benefit from this donation. Based on the random selection exercise from internet service providers(ISP) and millions of Super market cash invoices worldwide, you were selected among the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of US$2,000,000.00 (Two Million United States Dollars) as charity donations/aid from Hyundai Group.

You are required to expeditiously Contact the head of committee (HOC) below for qualification documentation and processing of your claims, from Monday through Sunday. On contact with head of committee (HOC), You’ll be given your payment pin number which you will use in collecting the funds. Please endeavor to quote your pin number QN(HM-145-5611) in all discussions.
***********************************
Head of committee: Mr. Imran Khand
Email: xxxxxxxx
***********************************
On behalf of the seven-member committee kindly accept our warmest congratulations